Coordinates: 51°05′46″N 0°16′16″E / 51.09611°N 0.27111°E / 51.09611; 0.27111
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A view of Frant
Frant is located in East Sussex
Location within East Sussex
Area31.9 km2 (12.3 sq mi) [1]
Population1,645 (2011)[2]
• Density111/sq mi (43/km2)
OS grid referenceTQ590354
• London33 miles (53 km) NNW
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTN3
Dialling code01892
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
East Sussex
51°05′46″N 0°16′16″E / 51.09611°N 0.27111°E / 51.09611; 0.27111

Frant is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England, on the Kentish border about three miles (5 km) south of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

When the iron industry was at its height, much of the village was owned by ironmasters. Smuggling occurred here in the 17th and 18th centuries, and one of the turnpike roads (now the A267) came through here at that time.[3]

Frant church is dedicated to St Alban[4] and there is a church school.[5] St Alban's Frant was a major surveying point for the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) calculating the precise distance and relationship between the Paris Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory, undertaken by General William Roy.

There are three public houses in the parish: the Abergavenny Arms on the A267 in Frant, the George Inn in the High Street and the Brecknock Arms at Bells Yew Green. The George Inn plays host to the Sloe Gin World Championships each December, attracting entries from around the globe.[6]

Lieutenant-Colonel John By, the Royal Engineer who headed the Rideau Canal project in Ottawa, 1826–1832, is buried here. He was also the builder of Bytown, which became Ottawa, the capital of Canada.


Frant is an ancient village and some of its Victorian buildings (the old Frant Church of England Primary School and other High Street buildings) still stand. Although it was not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, a settlement certainly predates the Norman Conquest; indeed, excavations in 1929 by S. E. Winbolt uncovered pottery fragments and ironworkings that indicated the presence of a settlement dating back to 100 BC.[7] There is also evidence that a pre-Norman road, with military posts, ran from Frant to Crowborough.[8]

The first mention of an area within the parish was in 742, when the Saxon chief Æðelberht granted the manor of Ridrefelde (Rotherfield) and Ramslye to the Abbey of St Denis in France; though part of Royal Tunbridge Wells today, Ramslye was at the time part of the parish of Frant.[8]

Broadwater Down was part of Frant parish until 1894, when it became part of Tunbridge Wells in Kent.[9]

The village was within the Rape of Pevensey and the hundred of Rotherfield.[10]


From the 12th century onwards Frant appears in charters and records, in as diverse spellings as Fernet, Fernthe, Fernth, Ferthe, Ferring, Vernthe, Franthe, Fraunte, Feruthe, Frenthe and Fant; these variations notwithstanding, the etymology of the name has its roots in the Anglo-Saxon meaning "place of the fern" or "place of the bracken", a reflection of the verdant countryside around the settlement.[7]


Frant is part of Wealden District and, along with Withyham, makes up one of the District's 35 wards. The population of this ward (called Frant/Withyham) at the 2011 census was 5,274.[11] The ward contributes two of the District's 55 Councillors.[12]

The Member of Parliament for Wealden is the Conservative Nus Ghani. She was elected in 2015 with a majority of 22,967.


Frant is just inside the border of East Sussex with Kent, about three miles (5 km) south of Tunbridge Wells and 36 miles (58 km) south of London.

The village is at the northern edge of the High Weald, a ridge of hard sandstone that runs across southern England from Hampshire along the borders of Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent. The River Teise, a tributary of the Medway, runs through the parish.

There are a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest within the parish. Eridge Park is a site of biological interest, consisting of park and ancient woodland, hosting a wide variety of flora and fauna.[13] The site encloses the National Trust reserve known as Nap Wood. Eridge Green is an area of ancient woodland with outcrops of sandstone that hosts some unusual fauna.[14] Another site is High Rocks, an area of geological interest due to the weathering patterns of the local sandstone.[15]

Path in Whitehill Wood, Eridge Park


The population of Frant rose steadily from just under 1,100 in 1801 to a peak in 1891 of around 3,500.[16] The records show a marked drop to 1,692 in 1901, but this is due to the transfer of the Broadwater Down parish to Tunbridge Wells that took place in 1894.[10] Over the course of the 20th century the number of people living in the parish has declined slowly, and a 2007 estimate by East Sussex County Council put the population of Frant at 1,367.[17]

Population of Frant[17][16][18]
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 1090 1439 1727 2071 2280 2447 2469 3263 3481 3565
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991
Population 1692 1671 1621 1604 ? 1513 1445 1403 ? ?
Year 2001 2007
Population 1387 1367


Frant is on the A267, which runs south from Tunbridge Wells to Hailsham. The B2099, which branches off the A267 just south of the village, runs south east to Wadhurst.

The village is served by Frant railway station which is located on the Hastings Line in the hamlet of Bells Yew Green, approximately 1.2 miles from the village. The station is served by hourly Southeastern services (half-hourly during the peak hours) between Hastings and London Charing Cross.[19]

The village is also served by the Stagecoach South East bus routes 251, 252 and 254. These buses provide connections to Tunbridge Wells, Heathfield and Hawkhurst.[20]


  1. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Archived from the original on 28 December 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 9 October 2015.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Frant history". Archived from the original on 15 December 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2006.
  4. ^ St Albans church Archived 19 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Frant Church of England Primary School - Home". Archived from the original on 9 June 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Sloe Ginster World Championships: Makers compete for title". BBC News. 16 December 2015. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b Eeles, Henry S. (1947). Frant – A Parish History. Tunbridge Wells: Courier Co., Ltd.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b Pearce, Luke (1912). Historical Associations of Frant. Tunbridge Wells: Pearce & Co. p. 4. Archived from the original on 10 November 2023. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Vision of Britain". Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Frant". The Weald. 15 July 2008. Archived from the original on 26 August 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  11. ^ "Frant/Withyham ward population 2011". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Your Councillors". Wealden District Council. Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  13. ^ "Natural England – SSSI (Eridge Park)". English Nature. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  14. ^ "Natural England – SSSI (Eridge Green)". English Nature. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  15. ^ "Natural England – SSSI (High Rocks)". English Nature. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Frant CP/AP: Total Population". Great Britain Historical GIS Project. University of Portsmouth. 2008. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  17. ^ a b "Population and households profile for Frant (parish) – Wealden". East Sussex in Figures. East Sussex County Council. 2008. Archived from the original on 10 November 2023. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  18. ^ Wealden District Council Policy and Review team. "Population and Demographic Data for Wealden" (PDF). Wealden District Council. Retrieved 29 August 2008. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Frant railway station information". Southeastern. Archived from the original on 16 November 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Tunbridge Wells bus services". Stagecoach South East. Archived from the original on 16 November 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.

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